Monday, September 14, 2009

Ordinary People = Extrodinary Artists

Dear Reader,

I was at the chiropractor this morning (bad lower back issue thanks to Mr. Mountain Bike) and thought of you.

I was reading Art & Fear by David Bayles & Ted Orland and this really spoke to me and I thought maybe it would speak to you too--

"Art is made by ordinary people. Creatures having only virtues can hardly be imagined making art. It's difficult to picture the Virgin Mary painting landscapes. Or Batman throwing pots. The flawless creature wouldn't need to make art. . .This is a giant hint about art, because it suggests that our flaws and weaknesses, while often obstacles to our getting work done, are a source of strength as well. . ."

What I love this is that I've always had a saying that's "I love the imperfect people best." There's something very attractive to me about someone who isn't afraid to share their difficulties in life, or a woman who doesn't know how to bake brownies, or a man who can't swing a baseball bat, or someone who is considered odd-looking, say too tall (think Lyle Lovett) or a woman who's bangs are a little too short for her face or a child dressed in 57 different colors.

And those of us who struggle with things, whether it be anxiety, depression, motherhood, fatherhood, worry, etc. etc. I think we make interesting art. And while I don't think your entire life has to be built around your issues, in fact, I'd try to stay away from that as an artist as it can suck you dry, I do think pulling energy from what someone may call "a dark place" or the not-so-pretty stuff about your life, or even just the basic imperfections whatever they are from a home with no matching furniture to being someone who always reads the personals from bottom to top, can be a gift.

And these days, we need our gifts.



  1. Couple off interesting posts. This and the one about "women in art" have both caught my attention. I need to go back and comment on it as well.

    You always seem to find such interesting reading. I'm signing on the "Kelli book club" long before Oprah's.

  2. i think it is good to pull from the dark and the light places. they are both a part of us, but i do hate to see artists who only stay in the one place and never venture out - especially when it is the dark side!


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